Blog Archives

“Adverse” Element for Adverse Possession/Prescriptive Easements

One of the factors for obtaining a prescriptive easement or adverse possession is that the use of land must be “adverse” to the true property owner. What does “adverse” mean? The term “adverse use” “means only that the owner has not expressly consented to [the use] by lease or license….” (Felgenhauer v. Soni (2004) 121 Cal.App.4th 445, 450, 17 Cal.Rptr.3d 135 (Felgenhauer).) The 2006 case of Aaron v. Dunham, 137 Cal.App.4th 1244, provides insight on what the adverse term means.   It provides as follows: “Adverse use” means only that the claimant’s use of the property was made without the explicit or implicit permission of the landowner. As explained in Felgenhauer: “Claim of right does not require a belief or claim that the use is legally justified. [Citation.] It simply

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Posted in Adverse Posession, Prescriptive Easement

Whose Property Line is it, Anyway?

Imagine coming home to find that your neighbor has built a wall on your driveway, or another part of your property. Somehow, some time ago, someone may have made a mistake. But does that mean drastic changes to what you’ve grown used to for over 25 years? Maybe not. The story in this video addresses what is called an “easement.” We know what easements are whenever the power goes out and a lineman has to climb the utility pole behind your house. If you are familiar with this, then you may  own your property subject to the condition that you allow the utility company to enter your property to work on the pole. In other situations, such as a long driveway serving more than one home,

Posted in Prescriptive Easement

What Are The Remedies for Interference With Easement?

What Are The Remedies for Interference With Easement? A person who interferes with the use of an easement can be liable or responsible for that interference. Typically such claims are pursued by the easement holder via an action to stop the interference, for nuisance and often for damages based on the loss of use. This all, of course, depends on the type of easement and the type of interference. Determining what constitutes interference can sometimes be quite obvious while other times it can be more difficult to determine. Remember that the owner of the servient tenement (the property burdened by the easement) is permitted to use their property in any manner and for any purpose that is not inconsistent with, and does not unreasonably interfere

Posted in Easement, Egress Easement, Ingress Easement, Real Estate Attorney Los Angeles

5 Things to Consider With Neighbor Lot Line Disputes

What is a neighbor dispute or a lot line dispute?   Typically it is a dispute amongst adjacent owners of real estate concerning their boundary lines and whether either party has developed the right to extend beyond their legal property lines.  In this post, our Los Angeles based real estate attorneys discuss 5 things to consider whenever you are dealing with a lot line, boundary or neighbor dispute. 1.  Is there a survey?  All boundary disputes should start with a survey.  After all, how can either neighbor argue that the other neighbor is exceeding their legal boundary lines without a marker and a licensed survey.  We always recommend getting a survey first. 2.   Use.   This is a key question.  In particular, if one

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Posted in Easement, Equitable Easement, Lot Line Disputes, Prescriptive Easement, Real Estate Attorney Los Angeles

The Ability to Grant Additional Easements over Existing Easements

Schorr Law’s Los Angeles based easement attorneys discuss whether a landowner can grant additional easement over an existing easement already on their land. As discussed below, this is generally permitted, as long as the additional easement does not unreasonably interfere with any existing easements. Every incident of ownership not inconsistent with the easement and the enjoyment of the same is reserved to the grantor. (Dierssen v. McCormack (1938) 28 Cal.App.2d 164, 17.) In other words, the owner of the servient tenement, i.e. the landowner, may make any use of the property that does not unduly interfere with the easement. (Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. Co. v. Abar (1969) 275 Cal.App.2d 456, 464.) In fact, it is not necessary for the servient estate owner to make any reservation

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Posted in Easement, Real Estate Attorney Los Angeles

Easy Easements: Is there Such a Thing?

At Schorr Law our Los Angeles based easement attorneys have extensive experience litigating, drafting and negotiating all types of easements. We are constantly asked to give advice regarding whether an easement is obtainable and how easy it will be to obtain.  This is a very tough questions and the answer changes depending on the facts of your particular case. Of course, each case is different and the relative ease in getting an easement in one case does not mean that there will be a very long and hard fought battle over an easement in another case. We have had easements resolved at first contact and others that do not get resolved before years of hotly contested litigation.  Because we know that easements can be difficult

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Posted in Easement, Easement by Necessity, Equitable Easement, Express Easement, Prescriptive Easement

The Scope of an Express Easement – The Right to Improvement

As discussed in previous posts, an express easement is an easement that is created by agreement between the dominant and servient tenement. Although the express easement often specifies the purpose of the easement, e.g. ingress and egress, it can often be silent as to what alterations you can make to the easement to fulfill that purpose. However, case law provides some answers. Generally speaking, the owner of an easement, i.e. the dominant tenement, can improve the easement or construct improvements on the easement which are reasonably required to make the use of the easement safe and convenient.  For example, if your neighbor granted you an easement for ingress and egress over a portion of their property that is a dirt road, you may have the right to

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Posted in Easement, Express Easement

Property Owner Cannot Create Easement Over Own Land

An easement is defined as a “nonpossessory interest in the land of another that gives its owner the right to use the land of another or to prevent the property owner from using his land.” (Beyer v. Tahoe Sands Resort (3d Dist. 2005) 129 Cal.App.4th 1458, 1472.) The land that the easement is attached to is referred to as the dominant tenement, while the land burdened by the easement is called the servient tenement. (Ibid.) Further, easements require “a unity of title, in that title and ownership of both tenements must be coextensive and equal in validity, quality, right to possession, and all other characteristics.” (Beyer, supra, 129 Cal.App.4th at 1473.) Accordingly, under what is referred to as the merger doctrine, easements are extinguished when

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Posted in Easement

Appurtenant Easement vs Easement in Gross

In general, there are two different types of easements that can be created by express grant – either an appurtenant easement or an easement in gross.  An appurtenant easement is an easement that runs with the land – meaning it is meant to be binding on successive owners of the dominant and servient tenements. In layman’s terms, this means that one property is meant to be the beneficiary of the easement and the other property owner is meant to be burdened by the easement.  An easement that runs with the land lasts forever unless the two simultaneous property owners agree, in writing, to cancel it.    Of course, there are other ways to extinguish an easement but that are not covered in this post. In

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Posted in Appurtenant Easement, Easement, Easement in Gross

Revival of an Easement by Merger

In a recent post, we discussed how easements can be terminated by merger. In this post, we will discuss how an easement extinguished by merger can be revived. Although an easement is extinguished by a merger of the dominant and servient estates, there are certain situations where the extinguished easement will be revived. The first situation is where there is an implied grant or reservation. Specifically, an extinguished easement may be created by an implied grant or reservation if: (a) the common owner continues to use it to benefit the quasi-dominant tenement; and (b) the common owner then conveys one of the parcels to a third party. (Silveira v. Smith (1926) 198 Cal. 510, 517.) The second situation occurs where an extinguished easement is recreated via prescription. In

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Posted in Easement, Prescriptive Easement

Zachary D. Schorr’s Expert Appearance on the Dr. Phil Show

Zachary D. Schorr’s Expert Appearance on ABC’s Nightline

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Zachary D. Schorr has been named to the Southern California Super Lawyers (Rising Stars) list for attorneys in Real Estate for 5 straight years - 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state receive this honor. In 2016 he was also included as one of the top 100 lawyers in Southern California in this category. The selection for this respected list is made by the research team at Super Lawyers.

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